Oct 25, 2017

Sinniah's extension denied ; new commander appointed

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Rear Admiral S.S. Ranasinghe as the new Navy commander.

He received his appointment letter today (25) from President's secretary - Austin Fernando since the President is currently overseas. He is to assume his duties from tomorrow.

The appointment limits the tenure of Travis Sinniah, to two months. Sinniah was termed as the first Navy commander of Tamil ethnicity to be appointed to the post since Rajan Kadirgamar in the late 1960s.

President Sirisena was commended, both locally and internationally, for appointing Sinniah as the Navy chief.

Sinniah assumed duties on August 22 and reached 55 years of age on September 26. Afterwards, his tenure was only extended by one month and ends tomorrow. A request made to extend the tenure was denied.

This makes Sinniah's tenure the shortest tenure of a Sri Lankan Navy commander since the 1970s.

All his predecessors since 1973 had remained in the job for at least one year, with the most immediate Ravindra Wijegunawardena having had a two year and one month term courtesy three extensions.

Another short tenure?
However, sources say that the new Navy commander's tenure too, could be limited to several days as he too reaches his age of retirement on Nov. 19.


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